“Flat out like a lizard drinking”

Text: flat out like a lizard drinking.

Context: Tom heard this phrase from a man he spoke to at a bar in Western Australia, who told him a story about a man who was previously kicked out of the bar. The man sought to use this simile to convey how quickly the misbehaving man left the bar when he saw the bouncer approaching him. Tom uses the phrase to describe situations when someone changes locations in a haste, and thought it was very funny when he first heard it. 

Analysis: As Tom explained, in Western Australia these one-liner comparisons are a culturally popular way of expressing oneself. The word play abides by observations of human behavior and of lizard behavior in Australia. Tom explained that in Australia, people say to go “flat out” is to move with maximum speed, perhaps a reference to a horizontally pointing speedometer. Also, when a lizard goes to drink water, it lies down flat on its belly. So, these meanings working in conjunction, the phrase references the double-meaning of being “flat out” in Australia, ultimately referring to moving quickly. I connect this phrase to the combination of Australia’s unique culture and its inherent connection with nature, namely the Outback.